Assault: Labour Dept to act

2008-10-09 00:00

The Labour Department is taking legal action against KwaZulu-Natal employers who allegedly assaulted inspectors when they visited premises to conduct investigations.

The department has laid charges of assault and obstruction against two employers after incidents were reported in Pietermaritzburg and Ladysmith.

In Pietermaritzburg, two inspectors were visiting the premises of a trucking company in Willowton to discuss injury-on-duty compensation. It is alleged that one of the inspectors was verbally abused and assaulted by the employer. The inspectors were allegedly held hostage on the premises for more than 30 minutes.

In Ladysmith, an official is currently receiving medical treatment after he was allegedly attacked at a printing business. In a media statement, department spokesman Page Boikanyo said the inspector was conducting a follow-up inspection when the employer’s sons became aggressive and swore at him before physically attacking him.

“He suffered a cut on the face, had a swollen lump on his head and cracks to the ribs, while his jacket and shirt were torn. He was visiting the workplace because during an earlier inspection he had found that employees were only allowed 15 minutes [for a meal] and that there was no valid first aid certificate at the workplace. At the time, the inspector was unable to serve the relevant notices to the employer, hence he returned later.”

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